~JOHN HODANY & LARS MONRAD VAAGE/NATIONALMUSEUM/BERLIN
. . . talking ’bout JOHN HODANY !! he is now in BERLIN, and he seems to have become the center of the best & wildest & most creative & definite the most coolest artist/curator collective this side of Philly’s BOBO !! (who actually came out on the NYC scene – the year before !! 2007 !!). Calling themselves the NATIONALMUSEUM BERLIN, so, in-your-face GERMANY !! – their weekly roving free-for-all parties and great wide open art events were dynamic enough – that they splashed out over the big pond – and, onto this shore’s underground radar – to our great delight & so, we are very happy to name NATIONALMUSEUM BERLIN – the best new artist/curatorial collective of 2008 !!! hands down !!
. . . one spark-plug live-wire of the group, turns out to be the artist LARS MONRAD VAAGE, (originally from NORWAY !!) who had work in John’s Hodany’s earliest NATIONALMUSEUM outings. He then seems to have picked up the curatorial reins and put on his own NATIONALMUSEUM show, (interestingly enough) titled: ‘They told the future backwards’ – and, we’re gonna document that next !! hold onto your hats !! its not that it’s a shocking ride – hey, but maybe in its own way it is !! – in that, it is so visual !! and yet, you get the feeling, layered with centuries of storytelling. Its most definite one of the the most super cool, and overtly original, shows, to snake out of Europe in a long long time – and one, that puts that old-heritage creative playground – back in play, for the first time in a long long time, too !!
I mean remember the show’s poster ? super cool, totally striking, and cutting edge, or what !!
The show opened on FRIDAY, NOV 21, 2008 and ran for one week.
(bye the way, LARS MONRAD VAAGE designed the poster. It is an image from a painting of his.
He tells us, the motif comes from his name, Monrad, “that means Moonweel, which means ‘The miller that beat the Turks’, from some battle in the 10th Century, when my ancestor had to leave his mill to become some kind of war hero. So its a Viking-ship that is sailing home after victory, and using the Turkish flag as a sail… Viking ships look so beautiful, as well as the Turkish flag.” !!
we were lucky enough to have LARS MONRAD VAAGE – write us himself, directly – about the show !!
“The artists in the show are a mix of very old friends from Norway (where I’m from), and new friends from Berlin. What I wanted was to mix things that in some way is eccentric and inward, and made of people I find warm, and to consider style as less important than storytelling and quirkiness.
Some of the artists have very special personal backgrounds, as well.
ANDREAS ERIKSSON (SWEDEN) is allergic to electricity, and lives in a farm in Sweden, that is especially designed to minimize radiation.
THORBJORN MORSTAD (NORWAY) paints in a very peculiar style, and has chosen to show his works outside the conventional art-world. In 1999 he was the first artist to show in the casino in Monte Carlo !! His great grandfather was Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, the likeness is actually striking. (see photo below).”
“EXPLANATION OF THE TITLE: ‘They told the future backwards’.
On the other side of a huge forest, maybe in a cave, there are a group of wise men with long white beards. If you find the way to them, you can ask questions about the future. When they give you answers they speak backwards, so you have to remember to bring one of those casette-players, record what they say, and then play it backwards to get what they say about the future.”
“The title and the meaning (with the bearded wise men) came from me misreading a crazy new-age book. Some guy found all theses messages by reading the Bible in patterns, like squares or in zigzag. In the end of the book all the messages were lined up (without the patterns), like: “A great storm will come in 3085”, then he finds some calendar that syas 3085 is 1968 in some folks calendar, and so on.
Anyway, this sentence said: “they told the future (backwards)”, the backwards was there to indicate he found it by reading the bile backwards. I didn’t get that til later, I immediately saw these old men sitting in a cave, speaking backwards about the future.” !! !! !!
wow – see what I mean, feel like I’ve already left my body – and am definitely no longer in a NYC gritty hedge fund subprime credit disaster frame of mind – at least, for the momento !!
. . . and DIY (do-it-yourself) curating in roaming shows – put it up and take it down, artist-curated mind & eye feasts, not mention flat-out all-nite parties !! – definitely one way to beat these grim times !!
wow – beautiful and mysterious !! LARS MONRAD VAAGE.
installation shot, ‘They told the future backwards’, curated by LARS MONRAD VAAGE.
on the walls, paintings by: LARS MONRAD VAAGE, EVA GROTTUM, THORBJORN MORSTAD, and STEPHAN MORSCH.
the floor assemblage/sculpture is by TJORG DOUGLAS BEER.
NATIONALMUSEUM, BERLIN. NOV 21 – 28, 2008
from left: 2 paintings by SEBASTIAN DACEY, a glimpse of the MALTE URBSCHAT piece, and, what looks to be a gorgeous piece, a collage/painting by JOHN HODANY, himself – extreme right.
detail, collage/painting by JOHn HODANY.
installation by MALTE URBSCHAT.
paintings by OLAV CHRISTOPHR JENSSEN, mounted on sculpture by VORSCHUB.
beautiful painting, or what !!
STEPHAN MORSCH !!
from left: painting by SEBASTIAN ZARIUS, 2 paintings by RAAF VAN DER SMAN, and at right, ANDREAS ERIKSSON.
love how that ERIKSSON piece looks on the distressed wall !!
JOHN HODANY pushing buttons !! VORSCHUB (aka AXEL ROSSLING) sculpture.
detail, floor installation by TJORG DOUGLAS BEER.
OLAV CHRISTOPHER JENSSEN with entourage – in piece by VORSCHUB.
must have been some kind of walk-in box or maze !!
. . . magic colors !!
George & Rick, behind them JOHN HODANY piece.
from left: KONRAD KINNARD, at center, LARS MONRAD VAAGE, and, right, JOHN HODANY.
(it’s cool, isn’t it – to see the man behind the show, the poster and the first painting (above) – LARS MONRAD VAAGE, who curated the show & wrote that really interesting explanation – re: the title.)
THORBJORN MORSTAD aka “KAISER WILHELM III of GERMANY” !! to his pals. Kaiser Wilhelm II was his grandfather.
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF NATIONALMUSEUM. WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO: LARS MONRAD VAAGE.
PHOTOS BY: LARS MONRAD VAAGE & RAAF VAN DER SMAN.
p.s. LARS also sent a really interesting note about ANDREAS ERIKSSON, who made that super visually striking piece on the distressed wall !! and who is allergic to electricity !!
“There are 5,000 electro-allergic people in Sweden, I heard the highest density in Europe. They have a union, and their own magazine. They are not recognized as sick by the government, and cannot be brought to the hospital for testing, because of all the electric stuff there. (!!!) They also often have a hard time when they protest against new cell=phone antennas and so on, people make fun of them as crazy, and they have to listen to the same old jokes over and over. They also often look strange, some make hats of aluminum foil or copper-nets for when they have to go shopping. Some of them also turn into entrepreneurs, one guy is making phones where the speaker and microphone is placed inside the machine, and there are 3m long airtubes going from there to the thing you hold to your head. It works ok, but it can be a bit hard to understand hat they say. Its acomplocated illness, I can only vouch for my friend Andreas, I believe him.”